Suhail Sheikh from West Bengal, who tried to smuggle a 15-year-old girl from Thodupuzha in Idukki, Kerala, into Bangladesh, was arrested. He lived in Thodupuzha and groomed the minor by pretending to be in love. Thodupuzha police traveled to Kolkata and rescued the girl.
Sheikh, a native of Murshidabad, who worked in a private firm in Thodupuzha, left Kerala with the minor girl. The accused was arrested and brought to Thodupuzha. The investigation revealed that Suhail had a wife and children in his hometown.
Sheikh and the minor from Thodupuzha Vengalloor went missing on 22 April. Her parents complained to Thodupuzha DySP Madhu Babu. Both of them had left behind their mobile phones, which made the investigation difficult.
Thodupuzha police conducted an initial investigation and found that Suhail had groomed the girl and absconded. This was confirmed after police questioned the migrant workers who were Suhail’s friends. Police understood that Sheikh had reached Kolkata.
The girl’s parents accompanied Thodupuzha police and reached Kolkata by air on Wednesday. The police team was led by Sub-Inspector G Ajaykumar and included Vanitha Civil Police Officer Neethu Krishna. By then, Sheikh had escaped, and the couple had moved to Murshidabad district on the Bangladesh border. The Kerala police team followed them there.
With the help of Dongol police, the Kerala police team understood that Sheikh was at his relative’s house. As expected, the girl was there, and she was rescued. Her medical examination was conducted at Kolkota general hospital. The victim was produced before the Child Welfare Committee and shifted to a shelter home.
Police then raided Sheikh’s house, and he was detained. He was produced before the Berhampore Magistrate, who ordered transit remand.
On investigation, it became clear to the police that the accused has another wife and children in Murshidabad. Sheikh also has friends and relatives in Bangladesh. He was planning to cross over the next day with the minor girl.
The police team is bringing Sheikh and the minor girl to Kerala by flight. They are expected to land today morning at Kochi airport and reach Thodupuzha soon. Kerala police have charged Sheikh with kidnapping. Kerala police have not revealed the religious identity of the victim.
How many parents of trafficking victims can afford the expenses and air tickets for such rescues? Was Sheikh a Bangladeshi infiltrator? How many illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators live in Kerala and the rest of our country?
Is it this easy to cross the border and move into Bangladesh? How many minor Bharatiya girls have fallen into this type of international grooming? How many such human trafficking gangs exist in Bharat?